First cohort of Ma & Morley Scholars poised to change the world

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The next generation of globally-aware and socially conscious Australian leaders are poised to embark on their life-long journey as the inaugural cohort of Ma & Morley Scholars at the University of Newcastle.

UON's first cohort of Ma & Morley scholars

The Ma & Morley Scholarship Program is a life-changing initiative made possible by the generous philanthropic support of Alibaba founder and executive chairman, Mr Jack Ma, through the Jack Ma Foundation.

Pledging $26million to fund the first of its kind program at the University, the unique opportunity was born to honour the life-changing and enduring friendship between the successful Chinese entrepreneur and respected Novocastrian, the late Mr Ken Morley.

As a teenager, Mr Ma met Mr Morley and his family while the Newcastle family was on a tour with the Australia-China Friendship Society in Mr Ma’s hometown, Hangzhou, China.

Mr Morley went on to become a highly influential figure in his life, instilling core values and a global perspective that positively impacted Mr Ma’s future and contributed to his personal success. The pair remained close friends until Mr Morley’s death in 2004.

The historic first cohort of Ma & Morley Scholars, includes 20 new students chosen following a highly competitive and rigorous process from three selection categories, including Indigenous; educational disadvantage; or academic excellence. Each scholar will receive financial assistance over the course of their degree, participate in an enrichment program tailored to their aspirations, and join a network of influential leaders and change-makers.

In addition, 10 current students will also participate in the enrichment program and join the group for the immersion experience, designed to emulate the eye-opening encounter Jack Ma had when he came to Newcastle. All 30 scholars will visit China during the 2018 mid-year break.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, congratulated the successful Ma & Morley Scholars, who were chosen based on their potential to uphold the program’s values and create positive change in the world.

“It is an exciting time for this remarkable group of young Australians and I wish them well as they begin their momentous Ma & Morley journey, which I am certain will be a transformative experience.

“Just as the enduring friendship and connection between Mr Ma and Mr Morley led to extraordinary achievements, we anticipate the friendships and connections the Ma & Morley Scholars will form will lead them on successful trajectories.

“I am thoroughly looking forward to witnessing how this carefully selected group of students makes their mark on the world,” Professor McMillen said.

Ken Morley’s son, David Morley, said it was exciting to see such an inspiring group of students selected to participate in the inaugural year of the Ma & Morley Scholarship Program, which would be a fitting tribute to the friendship Mr Ma and his father formed.

“I’m sure Dad would be very proud to see Jack’s tribute to his Newcastle connection unfolding, which is a beautiful acknowledgement to their friendship and pays homage to Dad’s egalitarian values.”

Mr Ma offered a personal message to the historic first group of scholars.

“As a Ma & Morley scholar, you’ll be continuing a story of human connection that knows no bounds. A story of shared values between people, countries, and organisations. Wherever your journey takes you, I hope you will hold these values dear,” Mr Ma said.

“As you embark on your studies, I offer you this challenge. Strive for more than academic results. IQ is important, but know that LQ – or the quotient of love – is more important. Be compassionate. Be optimistic. Be humble. Believe in the power of people to change the world.

“The Ma & Morley family welcomes you and I look forward to following your exciting future.”

The Ma & Morley Scholarship Program application process was designed so that a diversity of students have a fair opportunity to access the life-changing experience.

Half of the commencing Ma & Morley scholarships have been allocated to students who have completed or will complete a University of Newcastle enabling pathway like NewstepYapug and Open Foundation, echoing the university’s commitment to providing excellence and equitable access to education to people with ability and determination.

The Ma & Morley Scholarship Program is built on the values of peace, demilitarisation and cultural respect; equity and justice for all peoples; ethics in entrepreneurship and workers' rights; environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

The inaugural Ma & Morley Scholars are:

  • Luisa Amosa: Bachelor of Law / Development Studies
  • Nathaniel Arnold: Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  • Brittany Ayres: Bachelor of Social Science / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  • Gidail Bakini: Bachelor of Construction Management (Building) (Honours)
  • Sindi Bretherton: Bachelor of Nursing
  • Odette Brown: Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  • Olivia Carroll: Bachelor of Biomedical Science
  • Brent Cassidy: Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management
  • Jason Connor: Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management
  • Rosalie Connor: Bachelor of Laws (Honours) / Diploma of Legal Practice
  • Chezarne Cuffe: Bachelor of Development Studies
  • Kishaya Delaney: Bachelor of Communication / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  • Rachel Field: Bachelor of Psychological Science
  • Joanna Fu: Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine
  • Liam Hassen: Bachelor of Biomedical Science
  • Thomas Levick: Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • Jasmin L'Green: Bachelor of Development Studies / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  • Alissa Lucas: Bachelor of Laws (Honours) / Diploma of Legal Practice
  • Elijah Lynch: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Environmental)
  • Vanessa McDonald: Bachelor of Business
  • Phoebe McIlwraith: Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  • Georgia O'Brien: Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary)
  • James O'Sullivan: Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Jessica Philbrook: Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Grace Roberts: Bachelor of Biomedical Science
  • Alyson Treglown: Bachelor of Nursing
  • Jessica Vickery: Bachelor of Medical Engineering (Honours)
  • Joshua Walker: Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  • Georgia Young: Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
  • Jarred Zeman: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical) and Science (Physics)